Everything You Should Know About What Child Support Covers

One of the most important aspects of divorce is determining how much child support should be provided by one spouse and given to the other. In 2014, there were more than 800,000 divorces in this country at a rate of 3.2 per 1,000 population, which goes to show just how common divorce is. If you’ve never been involved in a divorce before and would like some help with your case, our lawyers at Morgenstern & Rochester can provide you with complete representation.

What Is Child Support?

When you’re seeking a divorce in New Jersey and have a child under the age of 18, child support is a type of payment that will need to be made to the spouse who has primary custody of that child. These payments are ordered by the court and designed to be ongoing for a specific length of time, typically until the child turns 18. They’re meant to provide financial support for the child as he or she grows up. The payments are made on a monthly basis.

What Child Support Covers

Child support payments can cover a wide range of expenses that are incurred in raising a youngster. Overall, these payments are designed to protect the minor from any kind of negative economic impact that might be brought on by the parents’ divorce. The focus of these payments is on the child’s needs, which can include food, shelter, education and childcare. Most children, however, require more than these bare necessities. Extracurricular activities might include music lessons, sports or marital arts. If the child participated in such activities before the family dissolved, the child support payments will be intended to cover these expenses as well so that the youngster can continue living life much as he or she did before the marriage ended.

Child support payments may be used to cover heating and electricity bills in the main household where the child resides. While the payments provided to the custodial parent can be applied to a wide array of expenses, these expenses should always relate in some way to the child’s welfare. Support payments are centered primarily on the necessities, but that won’t be the sole consideration if one parent is wealthy. In this case, the child is entitled to maintain the same standard of living that was previously enjoyed.

How Child Support Is Calculated

If you believe that you’re about to be ordered by the court to make child support payments, you may be interested in knowing how these payments are calculated in New Jersey. Every case that involves child support is different, which means that the way in which these payments are computed will also vary. However, some general guidelines are usually followed by the court when determining what the payments should be. The main factors that are considered for child support payments include:

  • How old the children are
  • Expenses related to health care
  • The total income of each parent
  • How many children the parents have

These aren’t the only factors that are considered by the court. Adjustments can be made based on special needs the child has or government benefits that the child currently receives apart from the support payments. When the mediation process is involved, the parents will usually provide the court with a payment amount that they believe would be best, and the judge will take this into account. The amount of time that the child spends with each parent will also factor into how much the payments will be. If joint custody has been arranged by the court, the total amount may be reduced if the child spends a substantial portion of time with the noncustodial parent.

If you are anticipating an impending divorce and you’d like some advice about what child support might entail, get in touch with us today to speak with a family law attorney at Morgenstern & Rochester. For assistance with your case, call our office in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, at (856) 489-6200 to get started on the process.